Sunday, November 29, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Leftover Turkey Pot Pie Recipe
Looking for something to make with all that left over turkey? Here's one of my favorites, Leftover Turkey Pot Pie. It's really simple and filling. I do cheat and use pre-made pie crusts from the store, but hey, I never liked baking anyway.
Leftover smoked turkey makes a great pot pie as well.Feel free to change up the vegetables; leftover string beans, broccoli and/or corn make great additions. I even tried it once with left over glazed carrots! You can see some corn in the picture below. It's from a pie I made last year.
- 1 package pre-made refrigerated pie crusts enough for a (10 inch) double crust pie (Not the pre-made pie shells - buy the sheets)
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- 3 tablespoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups chicken or turkey broth
- 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 1/2 cups cooked turkey cut up
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F . Roll out bottom pie crust, press into a 10 inch pie pan, and set aside.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onion, celery, carrots, parsley, oregano, and salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the broth. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir in the potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in the turkey and flour. Add the milk, and heat through. Stir the turkey mixture into the vegetable mixture, and cook until thickened. Cool slightly, then pour mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Roll out the top crust, and place on top of filling. Flute edges, and make 4 slits in the top crust to let out steam.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and continue baking for 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Thanksgiving Recipes: Crandberry Sauce
This is one of the easiest recipes you'll ever find. It's simple, straight forward and delicious. This recipe puts the canned stuff to shame. This is my adaptation of the recipe for Cranberry Sauce as found in The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- 12 oz fresh cranberries
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (more or less to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
The photograph of cranberry sauce comes to us from A Pinch of Health - Australian Low Carb Forum
Friday, November 20, 2009
Cooking With The Butterball In-door Turkey Fryer
I know it's not barbecue, but indulge me for a minute. The folks over at Butterball sent me an indoor turkey fryer to try out this year. At first I thought they were nuts. Why would I want to fry a bird inside? All that hot oil is dangerous, and frying stinks! The house would smell for days. I was a bit dubious in trying this out, but finally curiosity got the best of me.
I've been frying turkeys outside for years. There's nothing like the flavor of a fried turkey - it puts the oven roasted bird to shame. But frying a turkey outside is a hassle and it's dangerous as hell. Every year I read stories of people whom have lost their homes due to turkey frying accidents.
But this seemed different. Looking over the fryer, it seemed safe and well built. So I picked up a 12lb turkey and defrosted it in the refrigerator for 2 days until it was completely thawed. Seasoned it up and got it ready for it's hot oil bath.
This machine has some really nice features. It has a porcelain-coated pot that's dishwasher-safe and can be used for steaming and boiling, in addition to frying. The fryer includes a drain valve to make clean-up easy and only needs two gallons of oil. It also has an adjustable thermostat and a digital timer, that help make indoor frying simple.
A couple of words of caution. READ THE MANUAL and FOLLOW ALL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS. If you've never deep fried before, you need to know what to expect. Adding any food to any hot pot of oil will cause the oil to bubble up. Adding wet food will cause the oil to bubble and spout.
OChef put it this way..."The instructions advise you to wear oven mitts as you slowly lower the turkey into the fryer, and that is absolutely correct. The lowering process was a little scary and it took us about a minute to submerge the turkey in the oil. The moisture in the turkey causes the oil to bubble and we had to lower it slowly to keep the oil from splashing out of the fryer. If you're also standing there in bare feet, you'll have nearly 60 seconds to curse your stupidity as you wonder if scalding oil will spatter out on the tops of your feet (it will not, if you're careful. You may be wistfully thinking of an apron at this point, too.)" It's a great point.
One other thing to think about. This is a large appliance Lowering and removing a turkey into the fryer takes some room. On my counter top I found that the overhead cabinets got in the way. Next time I use this I'll do it on the kitchen table.
You'll have to trust me on this folks, as my camera crapped out taking the pictures, but this appliance made and incredible moist and tasty bird and some really outstanding french fries. The cover kept the bubbling oil inside the machine and kept the counter and surrounding areas nice and clean. It also reduced the smell significantly. This puppy works as advertised.
So what's the bottom line? The Butterball Indoor Turkey Fryer is a great new addition to your kitchen appliances. I know I'll be using it for more than just turkeys. Doughnuts anyone?
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Brennan And Carr
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
How to Brine a Turkey
The fine folks over at Cookshack, bless their hearts, released a video on how to brine a turkey just in time for thanksgiving. The video starts a little slow as they show images of the corporate logo and then then the recipe card for the brine. Don't adjust your monitor, there really is no sound for about the first 30 seconds of the video.
This reminds me of school. Dry, dull and a little crazed, but the information is right on. The crotch shot is a hoot. Guys, hire a professional videographer next time!
Monday, November 16, 2009
Some of you have asked what happened to my competition barbecue stories. Well, I'll tell you. This past summer, money had not been my friend. We've passed each other in the hall without so much as a nod. And to those of you who are in the know, it's expensive to enter a barbecue contest. No money = No contests. No contests = No stories.
The only contest I attended this year was the Sayville Fall Festival back in October. Jerry Mullane, contest rep extraordinaire, roped me into judging the barbecue contest. But instead of judging, I got the chance to perform as a Table Captain for the first time at a Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned event.
Table Captains are the folks who bring the food to the judge's table for judging. Actually it's a little more involved. Table captains are also responsible for making sure that the entries are in compliance with the rules, make sure that the judges judge and behave properly. Table Captains also keep the table clean and supplied. Sounds real exciting doesn't it? You'd be surprised.
A quick explanation of what happens when judging barbecue in a KCBS sanctioned event. The judges are seated at tables of six. When judging begins, the Table Captain opens the first box of food, announces the team number and the judges all take a look at the box and score it for appearance. Once the first box is scored by all the judges, the Table Captain opens the next and the process is repeated until all the entries are scored for appearance.
The Table Captain then opens up the first box and gives it to the first judge whom takes a sample and places it on his judging plate. The judge then passes the box to the next who does the same. This happens until every entry is given out to sample. Only then will the judges begin to score the meat on taste and tenderness.
During the appearance portion of the judging, the Table Captain is usually the first to notice if there is a violation on the rules. These are usually the glaring errors, like not enough samples, improper garnish, foreign objects in the box, etc. At Sayville, The Hot Dawg Truck submitted a rubber chicken as their entry. Of course it had to be disqualified, but it was funny. Apart from that one aberration, the rest of my table's entries contained no surprises.
For an explanation of the scoring system, check out this previous post.
One thing that did surprise me however was how much I learned about my own judging at barbecue contests. Watching the judges and seeing how each entry was scored and comparing the judge's scores with my own, it really brought home that I am a tough judge. I always knew that I was tough, never buying into the belief that the teams deserve high scores simply for showing up, but maybe I am perhaps too tough. (Just for clarification, the Table Captain doesn't score at a contest. I was only scoring the entries in my head.)
Would it hurt to give a little higher number? Probably not. I'm not saying that I need to be any less tough on an entry, but maybe I need to rethink what my definition of what 4,5,6,7,8 are to me. Maybe I need to be a bit more generous in my scoring next year. Time will tell.
Photograph of the barbecue being judged comes from the great website Amazing Ribs. Check it out, you'll love it.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
What I did today
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Turduken for Thanksgiving?
Have you ever had a Turduchen? No? They're great and a novel treat for any occasion. Don't know what a Turduchen is? Well, then you haven't been reading my blog very long. Check it out here. If you want to cook one at home, you can purchase them from The Cajun Grocer.
Don't feel like cooking it yourself, you lazy snot? Well, Big Daddies out in Massapequa is willing to do the work for you. As far as I know, they're the only place in the NYC tri-state area that is offering turducken for the holidays.
A Semi-boneless Turkey stuffed with a fresh boneless Long Island Duck and Chicken layered with Andouille cornbread stuffing then slow smoked over hickory and cherry wood and served with pan gravy and jalapeno-cranberry chutney on the side.
Weight: 15-30 lbs. Serves: 15-30 Price: $8.95 lb.
BBQ Turducken Roll
A totally boneless cousin of the Turducken and served with pan gravy and jalapeno cranberry chutney on the side.
Weight: 15-25 lbs. Serves: 15-25 Price: $7.95 lb.
Big Daddy's Restaurant
1 Park Lane Massapequa NY 11758(516)799-8877
Tell em WhiteTrash sent you!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Today, November 11 is Veterans Day. Be sure to take some time to thank a veteran for their service. Or better yet, buy them a drink or a meal.
Can't afford it in these recessionary times? Take them to an Applebees and they'll eat free!
Applebees Restaurants are offering a free dinner for all veterans and active duty military personnel.
Check out the details below.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Bless Your Heart
Fat Angel, a barbecue team from New Jersey, with a great pedigree took first place for its Texas-style brisket at the National BBQ Festival in Douglas, Ga earlier this year. Congrats guys!
You can read all about it in the Star-Ledger here.
Hmm, I Que from Hopkinton, Mass wins the Jack Daniels, Fat Angel wins brisket in Georgia; looks like barbecue isn't just from the South anymore!
Photo by TONY KURDAK/FOR THE STAR-LEDGER
Monday, November 09, 2009
What Would Brian Boitano Make?
I admit it. I had no idea of who Brian Boitano was when South Park first started to lampoon him with cracks of "What would Brian Boitano do?".
But now, he's a host of his own show on The Food Network called "What Would Brian Boitano Make?" which is loosely based on the What would Brian Boitano do? premise.
There's always some sort of problem to solve but he always ends the show surrounded by some hot women and some good looking food. It turns out he's got a pretty good sense of humor and a pretty good cook as well. I'm glad it's coming back.
GREENLIGHTS A NEW SEASON OF
WHAT WOULD BRIAN BOITANO MAKE?
NEW YORK – November 2009 – Production begins this December on Season 2 of What Would Brian Boitano Make?, it was announced today by Food Network. Slated to premiere in early March 2010, the series, produced by Concentric Entertainment, will shoot 10 new episodes throughout the winter and follow Olympic figure skater Brian Boitano as he demonstrates his culinary skills and talent for one-of-a-kind entertaining in his San Francisco home.
Coming off a successful premiere season of the Food Network series, Brian will explore lively new menus and clever entertaining tips in each new unpredictable adventure.
For more information, videos, and recipes visit: www.foodnetwork.com/what-would-brian-boitano-make
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Friday, November 06, 2009
Long Island BBQ?
Wow - there's only one other barbecue restaurant participating in Long Island's Restaurant Week and that's Swing Belly's in Long Beach. Sorry you folks out in Suffolk County.
I haven't been to Swing Belly's myself, well at least not inside Swing Belly's but I have been to the building. (I showed up on a day when the winter hours were in effect. Always check before you go.) But, my buddy Gary, renowned barbecue expert and author of Pig Trip, which is "Your guide to BBQ joints in Boston, New York and everywhere in between" states that Swing Belly's is the best on Long Island. Try it out.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Ruby's Famous BBQ
A while back my brother and I had an outstanding dinner at Ruby's Famous BBQ Joint on its opening night. A month and a bunch of staff changes later, Ruby's food sucked. As the pit burns, couple of months later I received an email that began...
"My name is Greg Barry and I am the new Pitmaster at Ruby’s Famous BBQ in East Meadow."
Now that was great news. Big Barry had taken over Ruby's. I read that and immediately thought, "now it'll be good again." Much to my chagrin and face to face harassment from Big Barry himself, I haven't been back yet. But, I've heard from a couple of folks that Big Barry has turned the place around.
And now, here's a chance to try it out at discount prices....
Ruby's Famous BBQ Joint is happy to announce that we are participating in Long Island Restaurant Week 2009 from Sun. 11/1 to Sun. 11/8 (Sorry for the late notice.)
Join us and enjoy our $24.95 Prix Fixe Dinner Menu: Does Not Include: Beverages, Tax and Gratuity
Appetizer (Choose one)
Garden or Caesar Salad, French Onion Soup or Personal Loaded Nachos
Entree (Comes with cornbread and two home-made sides) (Choose one)
Full Rack of Baby Back or St. Louis Ribs, Rib and BBQ Meat Combo or BBQ Meat and Meat Combo
Dessert (Choose one)
Brownie Sundae, Key Lime Pie or Pecan Pie
Wine and Beer Specials Available
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Ten Commandments For A Chili Cookoff
I found this online, but I thought it was pretty interesting and right. You can get to the original article by clicking on the link, or you can read it here. Enjoy.
Ten Commandments for a Chili Cookoff
by Paul Stephen
The StarNews turned into a battleground today as 11 of our employees vied for the in-house chili king crown as a fundraiser for United Way. In addition to scraping up over $100, a few finer points in competitive chili cooking came to light. Obviously, chili is a subjective dish, all beef and peppers in Texas, cinnamon and pasta up in Cincinnati. That being said, the judges (other StarNews coworkers) overwhelmingly favored the classic bowl of red. So without further ado, here are my 10 Chili Cookoff Commandments.
1. Chili is, above all else, about beef and chilies. Skip the ground and cube up some chuck roast. Otherwise unremarkable chili can become a star with a nice chunk of meat, and chuck roast can often cost less than ground beef. Likewise on the chilies. Use a mixture, maybe a few fresh jalapeños, a canned chipotle or two and a half dozen or so dried anchos soaked and run through a blender. Leave the McCormick Chili Powder on the shelf. You can do a lot better on your own with a little instinct and intuition.
2. Thou shall not cooketh thine chili in a Crock-Pot. Crock-Pots are great things, but brown meat they cannot. Do it right in a heavy dutch oven, saute down those onions and garlic, get a nice color on the meat. Then Crock it to keep it hot.
3. Just because it’s called chili doesn’t mean ignore the rest of the spice rack. Get some cumin in there, some coriander. Play with the oregano, cinnamon, heck, try grinding a handful of coffee beans down to dust. Remember, heat and spice aren’t the same thing.
4. Chili is a patient chef’s dish. Don’t expect to toss dome ingredients into a pot , bring it to a boil and walk away with a prize. To make a pot of chili more than a sum of its parts requires a good long simmer.
5. Vegetarian chili. Just don’t do it. Not for a contest, anyway. They can be perfectly delicious and nutritious but unless they have their own category a veggie chili isn’t likely to be a contender.
6. Taste your chili constantly while cooking. If things are starting to burn on the bottom it will affect the whole pot. Keep those other spices in check and please, don’t let it get too sweet. If you just follow the recipe and toss it out there for the judges disappointment is likely to follow.
7. Corn. I like corn. Corn can be good in chili. But tough, chewy corn from a bag in the freezer is no fun. Corn is cheap this time of year, buy a few ears of the nice sweet white kind and cut it off. You (and the judges) will be thrilled with the results.
8. Canned tomato sauce is not for chili. Texans would argue tomatoes period are not for chili, but I suspect most judges will be anticipating a little tomato acidity. Canned sauce only adds an unnatural sweetness and gross texture. Stay away.
9. Season carefully. There’s a lot of good stuff going on in a pot of hearty, complex chili. Don’t mask it with a heavy dose of sat. Worse yet, see it all lay flat and lifeless at the bottom of a judges list by not adding enough. If this is confusing, see rule #6.
10. Most importantly, and flying in the face of the rest of this list, don’t be afraid to take risks. Some of my favorites of the day were pretty unconventional. One was loaded with smoky chorizo and cider vinegar for a distinct tang, another a visually striking stark white with chicken and pale beans. One of the better veggie options I’ve ever tried was packed with cauliflower and cheese. While judges will probably be looking for classic flavors, don’t be afraid to put your stamp on it.
So there it is. One chili fan’s opinion. Do with this as you will, but follow even a few of these rules and I’m pretty sure you can count on your bowl making a stronger showing at the next contest.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
The Butterball In-door Turkey Fryer
Well - lookey here, just in time for thanksgiving, a tabletop indoor turkey fryer. Great idea. I love fried turkey
I haven't had time to try mine out yet, but for a limited time, Masterbuilt is offering their top-quality fryers to Butterball customers for an exclusive price of $119.95 plus free S&H. For a select few Butterball Turkey Lovers, they are reduced just in time for Thanksgiving.
So, hurry and get the perfect accessory for your festivities – a Masterbuilt deep-fryer. Go to butterballtrurkey fryer.com for more details. Use coupon code BBETF when ordering.
This thing is pretty sweet. First cook and pictures coming soon.
► Uses 1/3 less oil than traditional turkey fryers
► Cooks a 14 lb pound turkey under an hour
► Built in grease filter
► Drain valve for easy cleaning
► Cooking basket with drain clip
► Adjustable thermostat temperature control
► Porcelain-coated inner pot
► Dish washer safe
► Only turkey fryer approved for indoor use
► Also steams and boils all of your favorite foods
Monday, November 02, 2009
To You Who Ask
As some of you have noticed, I'm not posting as much lately. There is a major issue affecting my family right now which is all encompassing, engulfing and enraging. Luckily no one's life or health is at risk. I'll post when I can, but it's been extremely difficult to find time to barbecue, let alone write about it. Talk to you all soon.